UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    6,630.52
    -20.36 (-0.31%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    20,961.31
    -334.92 (-1.57%)
     
  • AIM

    1,163.26
    -10.13 (-0.86%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1607
    +0.0010 (+0.09%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3834
    -0.0060 (-0.43%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    35,469.95
    -10.52 (-0.03%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    982.93
    +39.75 (+4.21%)
     
  • S&P 500

    3,841.94
    +73.47 (+1.95%)
     
  • DOW

    31,496.30
    +572.16 (+1.85%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    66.28
    +2.45 (+3.84%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,698.20
    -2.50 (-0.15%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,864.32
    -65.78 (-0.23%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    29,098.29
    -138.50 (-0.47%)
     
  • DAX

    13,920.69
    -135.65 (-0.97%)
     
  • CAC 40

    5,782.65
    -48.00 (-0.82%)
     

Pressure from sterling but help from housebuilders leaves FTSE treading water

PA City Staff
·3-min read

The index which tracks London’s biggest companies stayed well balanced, weighed down by a weak dollar but boosted by its housebuilders.

The FTSE 100 ended the day more or less where it had started, adding only eight points to 6,531.56.

The index owed this 0.1% rise points in large part to Bellway, whose disclosure of a “record” output in the first half of the financial year lifted several of its fellow construction firms.

The news from Bellway, which is not itself part of the FTSE 100, sent Taylor Wimpey’s shares up 2.6% and Berkeley’s by 2%.

But what could have been a fairly comfortable day for the FTSE 100 was cut down in large part because of the weakness in the dollar.

It meant that the pound had gained 0.4% against its US counterpart, also known as the greenback, by the end of the day, buying 1.3795 dollars.

Sterling dropped less than 0.1% and buys 1.1398 euros.

“Last week, the greenback hit its highest level since early December as hopes grew that the US’s economic recovery would continue to be relatively strong.

“Yesterday afternoon we saw a drift lower in the dollar and we are seeing a repeat of the negative move today,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

In the US the S&P 500 and Dow Jones had both fallen by 0.1% when the trading day ended in Europe.

The Dax in Germany dropped 0.4%, while the French Cac gained 0.1%.

Brent crude oil gained 0.5%, hitting 60.89 dollars per barrel.

In company news, JD Sports saw a 2.3% drop in its share price on the day that its boss said Brexit had hit the firm worse than he had first feared.

Ocado also lost ground, falling 1.7%, because of high expectations that it was unable to meet.

Annual revenue soared 33% last year, but experts had been expecting more.

The two firms were joined in the red by Tui.

The travel company has like most of its peers had a tough year.

Bookings fell 89% over the winter compared to a year ago, it revealed on Tuesday.

Shares closed down 4%.

Better news was in store for Joules shareholders, who saw the value of their investment jump 6.9% after it expanded its garden business with a £12.5 million takeover.

And finally, shares in G4S were virtually unmoved, gaining just 0.2% on a trading update which revealed a £80 million hit expected this year from deferred taxes.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Taylor Wimpey, up 4.15p at 165.9p; Prudential, up 30p at 1,271p; Berkeley, up 86p at 4,392p; Imperial Brands, up 26.5p at 1,469.5p; and Intermediate Capital Group, up 30p at 1,808p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Evraz, down 17.6p at 506p; IAG, down 5.3p at 153.9p; Experian, down 87p at 2,533p; Kingfisher, down 6.6p at 270.4p; and JD Sports, down 19.2p at 809.2p.